Whether you’ve always wanted to own a koi pond or have luckily inherited one, we want to welcome you to the incredible experience of garden pond ownership.
At Oklahoma Ponds, we have been caring for garden ponds and water gardens for over 30 years. We are the fastest growing pond care company in the Oklahoma City metro area, and we would love to help you learn more about your pond.
OUTDOOR KOI POND: THE BASICS
Pond ownership is a lifestyle. Water chemistry, fish health, filtration systems, pond maintenance – the amount of information can be overwhelming. It’s hard to know where to begin. The internet is full of contradicting information, so it’s essential to get advice from an expert who has experience with pond cleaning, pond maintenance, and pond ecosystem health for OUR area. Much of the time, conflicting information arises because not all ponds and environments are created equal. Each climate has its own unique set of challenges for pond owners. That’s why we strive to help Oklahomans learn how to take care of a pond the right way.
FOUR FUNDAMENTALS OF POND HEALTH
We wish we could tell you that pond care is as simple as buying a filter with the best reviews. But in reality, there’s much more to having a beautiful, healthy garden pond. That’s why it’s important to learn about the FOUR FUNDAMENTALS OF POND HEALTH: Filtration, Bacteria, Plants & Fish, and Water Treatments.
#1 FILTRATION: Keep your water clean and safe.
We at Oklahoma Ponds want you to enjoy a stunning, healthy pond for years to come. That all starts with an effective biofiltration system. Think of your filtration system as the “stomach” of your pond: digesting all the muck, gunk and toxins in your water, making it livable for fish and plants.
The biofilter has two functions. First, it filters out and captures small particles in the water. Second, the media inside your filter is host to billions of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria work together to eliminate and convert toxins produced by fish, birds, grass clippings, dead algae, decaying pond plants, and more. Each different substrate in your filter is prefered by different strains of bacteria. Speaking of bacteria...
#2 Bacteria: The cornerstone of pond health.
Yes, you read that right: important, helpful bacteria. If you spend any amount of time around one of our Pond Pros, you’re going to hear about “beneficial bacteria” often. These bacteria work to keep your pond’s ecosystem perfectly balanced.
Think about it like this: fish use your pond as a giant bathroom. Plants use it as a compost pile for dead leaves and other waste. If your pond is outdoors, it’s a magnet for dirt, grass clippings, leaves, and other debris. All this waste builds up over time, increasing the amount of ammonia in the water. Eventually, the ammonia levels become unsafe and deadly to your fish and plants. That’s where the beneficial bacteria come in. The bacteria growing in your biofilter break down and convert that nasty gunk into nitrites, which are then converted by other bacteria to nitrates. It’s these nitrates that are essential for plant health. Which leads to our third point..
#3 PLANTS & FISH: Adding interest to your water garden.
Now we get to the fun part: plants and fish. Your pond is a unique ecosystem, one that will bring tranquility and joy to your space. Adding plant life and colorful fish not only make your pond more visually appealing, but they also work together to keep your ecosystem balanced.
Healthy pond plants feed off the nitrates in your pond, keeping the water clear and preventing algae growth. The more plants you have, the less nitrates there are to feed the algae. Depending on the amount of sun your pond receives daily, you should have about 70% of your water covered or shaded by plants.
Your koi or goldfish fish are likely the pond’s main attraction. Besides looking beautiful, they play a significant role in your pond’s ecosystem. The beneficial bacteria in your pond need the waste your fish give off. However, too many fish in one space will overwhelm the filtration system, leading to increased levels of toxins and decreased oxygen, particularly during hot summer months. The Pond Pros at Oklahoma Ponds know exactly how many fish your water feature can handle. We will also teach you how to care for your fish and learn how proper pond maintenance will keep them healthy and happy.
#4 Pond Additives: The right way to fast results!
The internet and pond supply stores sell endless products claiming to clear murky water, get rid of algae, and promote fish and plant health. While some of these products can be effective, they don’t all meet the needs of your unique pond. We can help you decide which of these products is right for your pond based on the symptoms it is experiencing.
Over time, your pond will become a self-sustaining ecosystem that doesn’t need much interference, but it doesn’t happen right away. In the beginning, chemical additives can help your pond stay healthy as its ecosystem matures. Like so many other factors affecting pond health, chemical treatments require a delicate balance. Introducing the wrong chemicals – or incorrect amounts of chemicals – could lead to fish death. Consult an Oklahoma Ponds professional before beginning any chemical treatments.
Need more help? Oklahoma Ponds offers a Monthly Maintenance Program, where our Pond Pros will keep your pond looking its best all year long. We check that your filtration system is working correctly, make sure your fish and plants are healthy, and we will introduce a healthy dose of beneficial bacteria as needed. Call us for more details!
We hope you have found this information useful.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call!